Oro-Medonte residents push back against disruptive short-term renters
ORO-MEDONTE, ONT. -- The Victoria Day long weekend is less than two weeks away, and as it approaches, some residents of Oro-Medonte grow concerned about a possible influx of out-of-towners.
Oro-Medonte resident Dianna Gerrard says the shores were quiet and peaceful for years, but all that has changed with the pandemic.
"Every day there is a party, and there is no time to be outside, relax and enjoy the lake." Gerrard blames tenants of short-term rental accommodations for disrupting her tranquillity.
"I think it's going to become a ghetto of short-term rentals because you can't stand it," she adds.
Some residents have joined forced to create the Oro-Medonte Good Neighbours Alliance - a group pushing the town to further enforce its short-term rental accommodation bylaw on disruptive tenants.
"We've adopted the motto that you're one real estate property away from a living nightmare," says alliance member Peter Lavoie.
The township is trying to amend its current bylaw, saying short-term rentals don't belong in residential areas, while short-term rental operators are appealing the bylaw with the local planning tribunal.
If the operators are successful, Gerrard says her time in Oro-Medonte will come to an end. "It's not a way to live."
Under Ontario's Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, short-term rentals — defined as 28 days or less — are currently only allowed to be rented to people in need of emergency housing, not for partying or vacationing.
Last week, police fined a Toronto woman $750 under the province's reopening act for allegedly renting an Innisfil property that was used for large gatherings.
Ontario remains under a stay-at-home order until at least May 20, with speculation the province will extend restrictions until June.